The Blood for Blood series is one of our favorites— ever! We know this may seem like a stretch, but it has it all. Romance, action, witty banter, and memorable characters. We hope our review encourages you to check this series out. We really think the series, from British author Catherine Doyle, is underrated!
If you’ve read these books, we’d love to fangirl with you about Luca in the comments below!
Sophie Gracewell’s life changes when five hot Italian brothers move into the creepy abandoned house in her town. Before that, her life consisted of hanging out with her best friend Millie and working at Gracewell diner, the family business.
Sophie has avoided most people since her dad went to prison for killing someone at their diner during a robbery. He swears it was an accident, but that didn’t make Sophie’s life any easier. Her mother busied herself in work and her uncle, who should be running the diner, has been MIA.
Quickly, she falls for Nic Falcone, the hot youngest brother of the Falcone clan. She’s drawn to his charm and good looks. Yet, his brother Luca, is determined to keep the two apart. One night when Nic and Sophie are together, Luca interrupts with some shocking news that makes Nic question everything. Only problem: The guys spoke in Italian and Sophie has no idea what she did wrong.
After distancing herself from the Falcone brothers, Sophie gets attacked and one of them comes to her rescue. As Sophie is ready to move on, the Falcone’s want revenge. That’s when Sophie realizes that these brothers are more dangerous than she thought…they are part of a Mafia crime family. To make things worse, Sophie’s family is connected to this in ways she never imagined.
Sophie has to balance her heart and her safety as she’s drawn more into the Falcone world.
Vendetta draws you in quickly. First, there are mysterious hot Italian guys so consider us hooked from the start. Also, Sophie quickly gets thrown into a world she never knew existed and has to adjust as everything around her changes. We really enjoyed learning about the in’s-and-out’s of the Falcone’s world.
We love Sophie as an MC. She’s brave— and maybe a tad reckless— but she handles situations realistically. Her British best friend, Millie, is super entertaining. She’s sarcastic and boy-crazy…perfect BFF material. She adds some much needed light heartedness to the serious plot line of these books. We loved her perfectly timed comic relief. Sophie herself was also very witty and could hold her own among the Falcone men.
Then comes the romances. This book sets up a intriguing love triangle between Sophie, Nic and Luca. Without giving away everything about these two brothers, they will surprise you at the end! But, we had a clear favorite that became more apparent the more we read.
The plot was quick paced. While the first few chapters move slower, it picks up and you’ll find yourself reading in the middle of the night to see how it ends. The Mafia aspect of this thriller makes it that much more exciting. We can’t think of any other Mafia YA series. While Doyle’s portrayal of the Mafia isn’t 100 percent realistic, Vendetta pulls you into this crazy and exciting world.
After the events of Vendetta, Inferno begins with Sophie knowing the truth about the dangerous Falcone family. All she has to do is stay away from them— too bad Nic doesn’t want to let her go…but he also wants to kill her uncle. What’s a girl to do?
After Nic keeps showing up, Sophie grows suspicious of his intentions. She fears he is only using her to get to her uncle Jack and find out where he has been hiding.
Sophie receives a message from an unlikely source that Jack is with the Falcone’s rival Mafia family, the Marinos. They are giving Jack protection…but in exchange for what?
Sophie goes to a club in downtown Chicago with Millie to confront Jack, but he’s surrounded by the Marinos and they want her help to kill the Falcone brothers. Sophie refuses to help and that’s when everything goes to hell. Gun shots. Blood everywhere. The Falcones followed her into the club, determined to catch their prey.
Nic and Luca take Sophie and Millie back to their place and clean them up before being sent home. All she wants to do is stay away from these guys after the night they’ve had.
Yet, she keeps running into Luca by chance and learns there is much more to him than the guy determined to get her away from his family. Maybe it was out of protection all along? And maybe, the Underboss of the family wishes he had another life. One where he could study astronomy and see the world.
As Sophie and Luca grow closer, he tries to protect her. But, Valentino knows the Gracewell family secret and reveals it to Sophie. With nowhere left to run, the Marinos and Falcones face off at the Gracewell diner…but Sophie is the one to pay.
Wow, Inferno was even better than Vendetta. It is non-stop from start to finish. Sophie grows a lot in this book and stands up for what she believes in…even when it gets her into trouble. She is headstrong and determined to unravel her family’s secrets and we were invested right along with her. Per usual, Millie provided much needed comic relief and helped Sophie when she needed her most. It was interesting to see Sophie further integrate herself with the Falcone family. The reader sees another side of them in this book that reminds them that the Falcone family— though deadly— are also human.
The romance was one of our favorite parts of this book. Sophie and Luca’s relationship develops throughout the book as she sees every side of him. He’s different from his brothers and is more empathetic than she could ever imagine. They still had their killer banter, and we loved that they knew exactly how to push each other’s buttons. Doyle really knows how to write a genuine love story. There is nothing insta-lovey about this duo.
Nic gets super annoying in this book because he constantly lies to Sophie to get his way and then then expects her to be in love with him. Pompous much? Plus, when her family secret is revealed, he wants nothing to do with her. Even though Sophie is the reason both Nic and Luca are still alive. Doyle handled Nic’s character development very well and his decline from nice-guy to total pompous asshole was believable and not forced.
The ending had us sad, but we understood that it set the stage for Mafiosa, the third book in the series.
The events of Inferno left Sophie shattered. She finally knows how she fits into the Mafia family rivalry, but at the cost of losing the person she loves most. With Jack coming for her, she swears allegiance to the Falcone family for protection. Luca doesn’t want her in this world and Nic is more than happy to be her guide to the Mafia lifestyle and maybe win her heart in the process.
All Sophie knows is Jack is going down and she wants to be the one to pull the trigger.
With senior year starting, Sophie has to be a normal high school student by day and train to be an assassin at night. Nic is more than happy to be her private tutor when it comes to weapons training. At the same time, Luca’s been ignoring Sophie ever since she moved in. He’s grown cold and distant since the boss said Sophie needs to prove herself to the family by killing an enemy.
Millie is also trying to save her best friend with distractions, including the school’s masquerade ball. To get away for one night, Sophie sneaks out of the Falcone mansion and joins Millie and Millie’s boyfriend, Crispin. When she arrives, she runs into Luca and he’s wearing a suit! Not only was he trying to protect her, he came to be her date.
The glorious romantic moment gets interrupted when Sophie gets shot in the shoulder. She survives, but knows nowhere is safe until Jack and the Marinos are dead.
Sophie has to discover if she can survive in this world permanently. And if so, does she want Luca or Nic by her side?
What a thrilling conclusion to a fantastic series. Everything about this book was perfect, from the character development, to the quick paced plot, and the romance. Our favorite moment might have been when Luca and Nic come to physical blows over Sophie and she finally made her choice between the two. Although, we felt the choice was pretty obvious. Luca was swoon-worthy as usual, and while he was a killer, he always had Sophie’s best interest at heart. Their banter and chemistry was off the charts in this book and we appreciated that throughout this entire series Doyle wrote a relationship based on genuine connection and mutual respect.
The dynamic of Sophie moving in with the Falcone family was…interesting to say the least. But it added to the storyline and really sets the reader up for an explosive end to this series.
Without spoiling how the series ends, just know that we think it was fitting. There were a lot of surprises in store for us. Our jaws dropped at the end but many lightbulbs went off in our head.
Doyle really tied the various family histories together. The ending was both happy and a bit sad, but Sophie is safe and that’s the most important part. We always worry about MC’s dying and ruining perfectly good stories (*cough* Divergent *cough*).
Overall, if you’re in the mood for an exciting thriller, this is the series for you!